British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced new pressure on Tuesday when a former civil servant spoke out about Downing Street’s handling of allegations of misconduct by a Conservative Party member of parliament, which was recently suspended went.
Lord Simon McDonald, who was Permanent Secretary in the UK Foreign Office between 2015 and 2020, wrote to Parliament’s Standards Commissioner, saying Downing Street had made “false claims” about Chris Pincher – who last week served as Conservative deputy chief Resigned from the post of whip. Admitting drug abuse.
Following the resignation, the Prime Minister’s Office said Johnson was not aware of any specific allegations against Pincher when he was appointed to the position.
McDonald’s tweeted its letter to the parliamentary watchdog, saying: “This morning I wrote to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards – as No. 10 (Downing Street) keeps changing its story and still isn’t telling the truth.”
In the letter, he wrote: “The original No. 10 line is not true and the amendment is still not accurate. Mr. Johnson was personally informed of the initiation and outcome of the investigation.
“There was a ‘formal complaint’. The allegations were ‘resolved’ only in the sense that the investigation was complete; Mr. Pincher was not acquitted. It is therefore wrong to call the allegations ‘baseless’.” Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab was asked about these developments on Tuesday and defended his boss, saying it was not his understanding that Johnson was directly informed.
“With respect to the 2019 allegation or complaint (against Pincher), while there was inappropriate behaviour, it did not travel the wire in disciplinary action,” he told the BBC.
Pincher, who was suspended last week as the Conservative Party MP for Tamworth, after allegations that he groped two people at a private members’ club in London, says he is seeking professional medical help and He has no intention of resigning as MP.
The opposition Labor Party said it was clear Johnson was aware of the seriousness of the complaints against Pincher when it appointed him to a key position of deputy chief whip in charge of party discipline.
Labor deputy leader Angela Renner said, “They refused to act and then lied about what they knew. The place has been made.”
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